A rural landscape: a rainbow is in the sky as a man finishes building haystacks and two young women walk home. Engraving by S. à Bolswert after Sir P. P. Rubens.

  • Rubens, Peter Paul, 1577-1640.
[between 1638? and 1659?]
  • Pictures

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About this work


The painting, as inferred from the present engraving, is described by Adler as follows (left and right have to be reversed for the engraving): "On a summer's day, the meadows of Brabant are seen in unusual lighting under an overcast, rainy sky. A ray of sunlight falls on a stretch of pasture in the centre, some distance off. On the left, the flat country in the background is spanned by a rainbow ascending to the right; less than half its arc is seen, the remainder being cut off by the upper edge of the picture. The full span of the rainbow must cover a great deal more than the area in the picture, which is seen as if in close-up or through a large magnifier. Near the right edge is a group of three tall, slender trees, standing out against the expanse of sky as far as the top of the picture.

"Near the left edge are three tall, conical haystacks and, in front, a rack waggon with two horses. A farmer standing on a fourth, half-finished haystack is piling more hay on to one of the others. Near by, articles of clothing hung on a fence or spread out on the ground gleam white in the glancing light. The spectator's eye falls on the scene from an artificially high viewpoint. In the foreground are paths and more fences with a wooden gate made of boards, and a stream on the right behind the three tall trees. In this half of the picture, nearer the spectator, two young women are advancing to the right across the meadow, one with a flat basket of fruit on her head, the other with a rake over her shoulder.

"In the background, the broad meadows can be seen distinctly although it is twilight; between them are hedgerows, single trees and a few houses. The engraving gives an impression of contrast and tension between the overcast rainy sky and the flood of pent-up light beneath; this effect must have been even stronger in the lost picture."--Adler, loc. cit.


[Antwerp] : Gillis Hendricx excudit, [between 1638? and 1659?]

Physical description

1 print : engraving ; platemark 33.8 x 45.7 cm


P.P. Rubens pinxit. S. à Bolswert sculpsit.

References note

Wolfgang Adler, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, vol. XVIII, Landscapes and hunting scenes; part I: Landscapes, London 1982, pp. 150-151, no. 47 ("Harvest scene with rainbow"), fig. 126 (engraving)


Wellcome Collection 30064i

Reproduction note

After a painting by Rubens of unknown whereabouts (Adler, loc. cit.)


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